Among the 10 distinctive attributes associated with qualitative research, there are three that essentially encompass what it means to use qualitative methods – the importance of context, the importance of meaning, and the participant-researcher relationship. In fact, one could argue that these constitute the three dominant qualities of qualitative research in that they help to define or otherwise contribute to the essence of the remaining seven attributes. The “absence of absolute ‘truth’,” for instance, is an important aspect of qualitative research that is closely associated with the research (in-depth interview, focus group, observation) environment where the dominant attributes of context, meaning, and participant-researcher interactions take place. As stated in a November 2016 Research Design Review article, the “absence of absolute ‘truth’”
refers to the idea that the highly contextual and social constructionist nature of qualitative research renders data that is, not absolute “truth” but, useful knowledge that is the matter of the researcher’s own subjective interpretation.
Similarly, there is a close connection between the “researcher as instrument” attribute and the three dominant qualities of context, meaning, and the participant-researcher relationship. A July 2016 RDR article described the association this way: Read Full Text